One account that I always check during a coffee break is @bartsboekje. Maartje’s Dutch humor on her Instagram Stories makes us laugh. Her realistic way of photography makes us drool. Her destinations want us to pack our bags and go.
Yet most inspiring is her drive for building this business from scratch. Like many entrepreneurs we admire, Maartje did not follow a straight road to become a travel influencer. She discovered her passion and talent whilst doing different jobs and created her own space along the way.
To get a better understanding about how @bartsboekje got where it is today, we asked Maartje about her journey.
“When and how did you start your business?”
After graduating as a copy writer and from art school, I worked at a PR company in Amsterdam and later a fashion producer at ELLE magazine. Besides arranging the shoots, I would write about the places we visited. Even though the magazine would only have a restricted number of pages devoted to travel, I wrote all of my favorite places down and kept this as a side project. When people started asking me about the so called travel book, I realized this was my dream come true and quit my day job (six months pregnant at this stage) to focus on @bartsboekje.
The name? My dad used to call me Bart. So my side hustle became Bart’s Boekje (Bart’s Booklet in Dutch).
“What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned whilst running your own business?”
Don’t worry about criticism. Worry when people stop their criticism.
“You live in one of the prettiest cities on earth: Amsterdam. Can you tell us about your home and your interior?”
Just over two years ago we bought a house that really needed a lot (A LOT) of work. We changed some things around, making the kitchen upstairs (where the bedroom was) and the bedrooms downstairs (where the kitchen was) so that we had the rooftop garden with priceless city views next to our kitchen. The black marble table here is one of my favorite pieces of furniture in the house, so is the white sofa.
“What is your go-to place when it comes to styling your home?”
I do love the Noordermarkt on Mondays. It’s vintage heaven!
“What trips are still high on the bucket list and of which destination you just can’t get enough?”
After just ticking the Maldives off, I would love to travel through Argentina. And Brazil, And… actually the list is quite long.
I can’t get enough of Spain. Especially the islands Ibiza, Formentera and Mallorca, they are all so stunning. Also Cape Town and surroundings is a very favorite now after making a special about it. Oh, and New York. Always New York!
Maartje is 38 and lives together with her husband Dirk and boys Vito of 1,5 and Willem of 6. Follow her on her trips on @bartsboekje and @coolcapetown. You can also get travel tips on all of her destinations on her website.
Photography by Marilyn Bartman